Chapter 5 defines the criteria that could be used to prioritize the development, maintenance, and eventual replacement of research infrastructure that will be needed to answer fundamental and applied scientific research related to the ocean. This chapter builds upon that discussion by including best practices that could be used to maximize the value of federal investments in ocean infrastructure for research: effectively managing existing resources; providing access to data, information, and facilities; fostering collaboration at several organizational levels; facilitating the transition of infrastructure from research to operational use; and ensuring the next generation of ocean science infrastructure.
These best practices are placed within a conceptual framework that follows the general development pathway of ocean infrastructure assets: prototype infrastructure is developed to respond to science needs; mature technologies are deployed in direct support of science; and finally, infrastructure is used for long-term, routine observation in support of numerous societal and scientific needs. Of course, there is not always a direct correspondence between infrastructure needed to conduct ocean science research and that needed to support long-term, routine monitoring of the ocean. However, an effective development process fully exploits the ability to successfully use both cutting-edge technology and infrastructure standardized for operational use. National investments can be further optimized if the observations related to routine monitoring are of a nature and quality sufficient to support primary research objectives.
This framework also recognizes the inherent collaborative, interdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary nature of ocean research, which is critical to its continued success. A number of recent reports (NRC, 1999, 2004b; ORRAP, 2007) address collaboration or interdisciplinary research, with conclusions that are applicable to this discussion. Overall, interdisciplinary research and collaboration have been increasing for decades. This is evidenced by an increased scope of new funding initiatives, newly generated academic fields and departments, and changes in both student interests and societal needs.
Ultimately, the success of ocean infrastructure will be measured by how well it enables advancement of the ocean sciences. Yet, there are recent indications that the process by which science is accomplished can be transformed in a data-rich environment (known as The Fourth Paradigm; Hey et al., 2009). In 1990, the user community of the ocean science infrastructure largely consisted of seagoing scientists who required access to ships and submersibles. In 2030, the user community will likely be quite different, with a greater percentage of scientists who interact with the ocean only remotely, through ocean data supplied via the internet. Although the trajectory of science cannot be predicted, it seems likely that significant transformations are in store, and indeed will likely be enabled by a more effective ocean infrastructure. This argues above all for an ocean infrastructure that will be highly responsive to the needs of a changing ocean science enterprise.
As demonstrated in Chapters 2 and 3, oceanographic research in the next two decades will encompass a broad scope of scientific questions and require a wide assortment of ocean infrastructure assets. Although long-range planning has often been advocated to promote the most efficient use of expensive assets such as ships, the committee strongly believes that coordinated strategic planning for critical infrastructure assets needs to be established. In order to establish and continuously adapt a strategic plan for ocean infrastructure planning, funding agencies need to ensure that the resources and expertise are in place to carry out a systematic prioritization process. Expertise that is required for this type of planning includes both scientists and people trained in economics of information,
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6 Maximizing Research Investments in Ocean Science Chapter 5 defines the criteria that could be used to fields and departments, and changes in both student interests prioritize the development, maintenance, and eventual re - and societal needs. placement of research infrastructure that will be needed to Ultimately, the success of ocean infrastructure will be answer fundamental and applied scientific research related measured by how well it enables advancement of the ocean to the ocean. This chapter builds upon that discussion by sciences. Yet, there are recent indications that the process including best practices that could be used to maximize by which science is accomplished can be transformed in the value of federal investments in ocean infrastructure for a data-rich environment (known as The Fourth Paradigm; research: effectively managing existing resources; provid - Hey et al., 2009). In 1990, the user community of the ocean ing access to data, information, and facilities; fostering science infrastructure largely consisted of seagoing scientists collaboration at several organizational levels; facilitating who required access to ships and submersibles. In 2030, the transition of infrastructure from research to operational the user community will likely be quite different, with a use; and ensuring the next generation of ocean science greater percentage of scientists who interact with the ocean infrastructure. only remotely, through ocean data supplied via the internet. These best practices are placed within a conceptual Although the trajectory of science cannot be predicted, it framework that follows the general development pathway seems likely that significant transformations are in store, of ocean infrastructure assets: prototype infrastructure is and indeed will likely be enabled by a more effective ocean developed to respond to science needs; mature technologies infrastructure. This argues above all for an ocean infrastruc- are deployed in direct support of science; and finally, infra- ture that will be highly responsive to the needs of a changing structure is used for long-term, routine observation in support ocean science enterprise. of numerous societal and scientific needs. Of course, there is not always a direct correspondence between infrastructure EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF RESOURCES needed to conduct ocean science research and that needed to support long-term, routine monitoring of the ocean. Coordinated Strategic Planning However, an effective development process fully exploits the ability to successfully use both cutting-edge technology As demonstrated in Chapters 2 and 3, oceanographic and infrastructure standardized for operational use. National research in the next two decades will encompass a broad investments can be further optimized if the observations scope of scientific questions and require a wide assortment related to routine monitoring are of a nature and quality suf- of ocean infrastructure assets. Although long-range planning ficient to support primary research objectives. has often been advocated to promote the most efficient use of expensive assets such as ships, the committee strongly This framework also recognizes the inherent collab- believes that coordinated strategic planning for critical orative, interdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary nature of infrastructure assets needs to be established. In order ocean research, which is critical to its continued success. to establish and continuously adapt a strategic plan for A number of recent reports (NRC, 1999, 2004b; ORRAP, ocean infrastructure planning, funding agencies need 2007) address collaboration or interdisciplinary research, to ensure that the resources and expertise are in place with conclusions that are applicable to this discussion. Over- to carry out a systematic prioritization process. Exper- all, interdisciplinary research and collaboration have been increasing for decades. This is evidenced by an increased tise that is required for this type of planning includes both scope of new funding initiatives, newly generated academic scientists and people trained in economics of information, 57
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58 CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE FOR OCEAN RESEARCH AND SOCIETAL NEEDS IN 2030 valuation, and investment analysis under uncertainty. It is be reviewed (for example, including “Efficient Use of In- expected that this could be done both within the agencies frastructure” to “Intellectual Merit” and “Broader Impacts” and collectively, through interagency coordination such during the National Science Foundation [NSF] proposal as the Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology’s process) and could include a brief consideration of existing (SOST’s) Interagency Working Group on Ocean Partner- infrastructure; emerging technologies that could be effec- ships. Engaging both the broad ocean research community tively used; and/or justification for developing alternative and stakeholders advocating for societal needs could provide assets that could potentially yield greater benefit than more valuable insight into the planning process. traditional infrastructure capabilities. Life-Cycle Planning Asset Flexibility Effective resource management for infrastructure Finally, current planning for ocean infrastructure does requires long-term planning that takes into consideration not reflect sufficient consideration of surge capacity in order the cost of support over its full life cycle. Beyond the ini- to respond to unanticipated ocean incidents. As the ocean tial cost of developing and deploying infrastructure assets, is increasingly used for large-scale human activity, major maintenance, operations, and upgrades can be significant incidents and disasters will happen. This was evidenced by cost factors. Yet, to sustain the required level of data qual- the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which ity from infrastructure, sufficient maintenance (including resulted in repurposing academic and federal research ves- routine calibration) needs to be done on a regular basis. In sels, individual investigator assets like gliders, and private addition, full life-cycle costs need to include support for commodities such as charter boats for incident response training technical personnel to sustain infrastructure assets, and cleanup. The federal investment could be maximized for the user community to access them, and for student edu- by ensuring that there are comprehensive plans in place to cation to provide future scientists and technicians able to anticipate such events, with both adequate facilities and strat- continue to utilize the assets. Full life-cycle planning would egies to quickly deploy personnel and assets when needed. also need to take into consideration any interdependencies There are also opportunities to involve industries in planning, between ocean infrastructure assets, and how to best support possibly during their permitting processes. and exploit those connections. Recommendation: Federal ocean agencies should establish and maintain a coordinated national strategic Periodic Reviews plan for critical shared ocean infrastructure investment, maintenance, and retirement. Such a plan should focus It is important to periodically evaluate federally funded on trends in scientific needs and advances in technology, ocean research infrastructure in order to best decide where while taking into consideration life-cycle costs, efficient future investments should be made and where obsolete or u se, surge capacity for unforeseen events, and new underutilized assets could be discontinued. As a current opportunities or national needs. The plan should be based example, the University-National Oceanographic Labora- upon a set of known priorities and updated through pe- tory System (UNOLS) consortium regularly assesses its riodic reviews. users, engages in internal plans for fleet improvement, and responds to external reviews. Another example is NASA’s Recommendation: National shared ocean research infra- use of decadal surveys1 (NRC, 2007b) to prioritize future space science needs. In a similar fashion, community-based structure should be reviewed on a regular basis (every reviews of major infrastructure assets are periodically 5-10 years) for responsiveness to evolving scientific needs, needed to account for changing societal needs, new or cost effectiveness, data accessibility and quality, timely different facilities, technology developments, and devel- delivery of services, and ease of use in order to ensure opment, maintenance, and replacement costs. Timing of optimal federal investment across a full range of ocean science research and societal needs. these reviews should be based on capabilities specific to dif - ferent types of assets, including projected lifespan. PROVIDING ACCESS TO DATA, INFORMATION, AND FACILITIES Efficient Use of Infrastructure As part of the research proposal process, principal Efficient access to raw data, to information (data that investigators could be required to justify that they are mak- have been processed and interpreted), and to capable fa- ing efficient use of national infrastructure (if relevant to their cilities is critically important to the scientific enterprise and project). This justification could be added as a criterion to maximizes the return on investment in oceanographic data collection (Wright et al., 2005; Baker and Chandler, 2008; Mascarelli, 2009). Such access supports published literature, 1 http://science.nasa.gov/earth-science/decadal-surveys/.
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59 MAXIMIZING RESEARCH INVESTMENTS IN OCEAN SCIENCE enables global syntheses of scientific knowledge, allows im- mapping services; Lassoued et al., 2010). There is also a need portant confirmation and ground-truthing of results, enables to ensure that scientific results funded by federal agencies rediscovery and reuse of data for novel purposes, facilitates (including those data taken by agency scientists) are made informed policy making, and reduces decision uncertain- available to the general public, not just those with access to ties. Modern data management systems that are designed to scientific journals. reduce procedural, institutional, or cultural barriers to data access and to facilitate data-intensive scientific research are Curation and Reanalysis Capabilities for Historical Data needed. An informatics approach, where computational, cognitive, and social aspects of information technologies are It is impossible to return to the time and location at taken into account (Hey et al., 2009; Nativi and Fox, 2010), which historic observations were made or measurements could assist federal agencies in realizing the full potential of recorded. Resampling may not even be possible in all cases. their investments in ocean sciences (Helly et al., 2003; Baker Hence, long-term stewardship of data and metadata, includ- and Chandler, 2008). Sound data management practices, sub- ing data rescue, are vitally important (NRC, 2009a; Porter, stantial improvement of national data repositories, increased 2010; “Data for eternity,” 2010). access and use of facilities, and engaging the public are best practices to implement this approach. Encouraging Data Set Submission and Peer Review An appropriate protocol that better enabled scientists Sound Data Management Practices to receive citation credit for posting their data in the public Sound data management practices organize and opti- domain could encourage more investigators to release their mize data so that they can be effectively retrieved, preserved, data, and would also allow for better peer review of data sets analyzed, integrated into new data sets, and shared across (e.g., using digital object identifiers as is routine for journal communities. Such practices include proper data documenta- articles; Parsons et al., 2010; Helly, 2010). Federal funding tion and curation, data accessibility, re-analysis of historical could be linked to mandatory data set submission, with ad- data, encouraging database growth through data set submis- ditional funding withheld for noncompliant scientists. sion, implementing crossdisciplinary searching, and collab- orative editing capabilities. Implementing Cross-disciplinary and Umbrella Searching Umbrella searches would enable scientists from a vari- Data Documentation, Curation, and Quality Assurance and ety of disciplines (e.g., atmospheric science, genetics, electri- Quality Control cal engineering, computer science) to access oceanographic In general, proper data storage includes supporting data. This approach requires the use of controlled vocabu- metadata, quality and fitness-for-use statements, and mea- laries when providing metadata descriptions, which can be surement error or uncertainty estimates. This is critically used to create thesauri in these cross-disciplinary catalogs as important for ocean research because data are often collected well as ordered groupings of spatial, thematic, and temporal in remote, hard-to-access areas. Data management facilities reference objects; these, in turn, can be used to tag and link need to support efficient archival services and provide the metadata and data (e.g., Isenor and Neiswender, 2009). capability to migrate data to different formats as computer technologies evolve (e.g., Miller et al., 2009). The Marine Participatory, Collaborative Editing Capabilities Metadata Interoperability Project2 and Quality Assurance of Real Time Oceanographic Data3 are current examples Collaborative online analysis of oceanographic data of such efforts. Involving early career scientists in these would allow scientific users to augment an existing data set and other activities will lead to better understanding of the with additional data or descriptions in order to improve the fundamentals and implications of data reduction and quality data set, add value, and provide context. This approach would management. be similar to the use of scientific wikis or crowd-sourcing, which are driven by the open-source software movement (e.g., Waldrop, 2008). Making Data Searchable and Freely Accessible Accessibility to data is an important management Improving National Data Repositories practice that requires well-tested, user-friendly services and protocols that continue to improve their utility, efficiency, Presently, data are still not always systematically ar- and interoperability (e.g., Open Geospatial Consortium web chived at national data centers like the National Ocean Data Center, and archived data are rarely available in a timely manner—remarkable in an “information age.” Additionally, 2 http://marinemetadata.org/. although centralized facilities are an intuitive solution to 3 http://nautilus.baruch.sc.edu/twiki/bin/view.
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60 CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE FOR OCEAN RESEARCH AND SOCIETAL NEEDS IN 2030 data management, often the best arbiter of data quality is its flexible information systems that support ongoing main- original source, combined with collected comments of users tenance, implementation, and dynamic redesign for both and reviewers. National data repositories are likely to find localized and broad-scale needs (Baker and Chandler, 2008). more success by implementing a distributed system where local partnerships are used to gain access to data, allowing Public Engagement teams of data scientists, information managers, domain experts, and data originators to better enable data discovery Data with supporting documentation will continue to and integration across systems. The partnerships could make become more publicly available as principles of data man- use of a standards-based informatics approach designed to agement are integrated into research programs (NRC, 2009a; ensure effective access to and permanent archiving of data. Ryan et al., 2009; Stocks et al., 2009). As the proliferation Program or project offices often serve as data reposito- of data portals and web mapping sites continues, the public ries, facilitating the dissemination, preservation, and storage is more likely to use oceanographic information if it is pack- of research-related data. These types of offices generally aged in intuitive user interfaces that are targeted for specific ensure routine and consistent data delivery to national data stakeholder groups (e.g., currents for boating enthusiasts, centers, as well as routine and consistent data access for data fisheries data for resource managers and the commercial assembly centers. Best practices for these offices include fishing community) but also address broader issues (e.g., planning for data dissemination and data set archival when ecosystem-based management, marine spatial planning, the program ends, which could logically be expected for all incident response). Improving data accessibility for general federally funded science programs (whether extramural or use also helps to foster a more science-literate society, a goal intramural). of the National Ocean Policy (CEQ, 2010). The growing volume and complexity of ocean research Access and Best Use of Community-Wide Facilities data requires the use of sound data management prac- tices, improvements to national, distributed data reposi- There are presently several examples of broadly acces- tories, better accessibility and use of community-wide sible community-wide facilities in oceanography and allied facilities, and increased engagement with stakeholders disciplines, including those that provide sample analyses and the general public. (e.g., National Ocean Sciences Accelerator Mass Spectrome- try Facility for radiocarbon dating; see Box 6.1), instruments (e.g., U.S. National Ocean Bottom Seismography Instrument Looking Beyond the Ocean Sciences Pool), modeling capability (e.g., the National Center for It would be beneficial for federal agencies to peri- Atmospheric Research [NCAR] Community Earth System odically examine and adopt data management practices Model), and coordination of distributed assets (e.g., UNOLS, that come from beyond the ocean sciences, as well as Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology). These approaches to grow access to and use of community- types of facilities are crucial for connecting people to needed wide facilities. Proven efforts from beyond the ocean resources that may be too expensive for one investigator, sciences can be very informative and helpful. Examples necessitate an array of many instruments for a limited time, or require specific calibrations or unique facilities. However, include NCAR, which provides to its community access to these facilities also promote interaction and opportunities for supercomputers, model development, source code, and more than 8,000 Earth science data set collections.5 Community- collaboration. Given the increased volume and complexity of data, it is likely that utilization of existing facilities will specific organizations that focus on data use and data quality be increased and new facilities established as infrastructure will also be valuable to the ocean sciences (for example, the needs are redefined. One example of such a facility is the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis and Ocean Observatories Initiative,4 which seeks to provide the American Geophysical Union’s Earth and Space Sciences novel platforms and near real time data for research and Informatics Focus Group). education on a broad scale. Federal agencies will need to prioritize investments PROMOTING COLLABORATION and maximize value by recognizing which efforts are best serving their communities and continuing those investments, Substantial and meaningful collaboration between especially in those that employ contemporary approaches to nations; across agencies; among federal, state, and local information management (e.g., Baker and Chandler, 2008; governments; among academic, government, nongovern- Hey et al., 2009; NRC, 2009a; Nativi and Fox, 2010; Wright mental, and industry sectors; and between disciplines will et al., 2005). These efforts use infomatics concepts to develop not only maximize the value of infrastructure investments but will in fact be required to meet the growing science and 4 h ttp://www.interactiveoceans.washington.edu/story/NSF+Ocean+ 5 Observatories+Initiative. http://cdp.ucar.edu/home/home.htm.
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61 MAXIMIZING RESEARCH INVESTMENTS IN OCEAN SCIENCE BOX 6.1 The National Ocean Sciences Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (NOSAMS) Facility The creation of the NSF-supported NOSAMS facility (figure, below) at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, in the late 1980s, was driven by a request from the World Ocean Circulation Experiment and Joint Global Ocean Flux Study planning committees. These were motivated by the recognition that radiocarbon was an important tracer of ocean circulation, ventilation, and carbon cycle processes. The development of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon measurements on seawater was an enabling technology. It reduced the water sample size requirements from approximately 200 liters to less than a liter, so that routine shipboard sampling could be achieved using traditional methods on hydrographic expeditions. The development of a global ocean radiocarbon data set presents climate modelers with an important tool for testing model performance on a variety of spatial and temporal scales. The facility currently measures radiocarbon for a wide range of samples (including seawater, marine sediments, carbon - ates, and many kinds of organic materials), with applications ranging across paleoceanography, organic biogeochemistry, environmental forensics, and ocean circulation studies. Due to growing community demand for radiocarbon measurements, the analytical throughput of NOSAMS has grown from ~1,000 to more than 6,000 samples per year over the last two decades. The primary service that NOSAMS provides to the oceanographic community is “beginning to end” sample processing and measurement expertise. This allows individual investigators access to expertise and instrumentation that is too expensive and complex to be maintained locally. In a typical year, NOSAMS receives more than 500 batches of samples submitted by over 250 separate investigators. Advancement in methodologies has lowered the amount of carbon required for a precision measurement by an order of magnitude since the facility’s inception. NOSAMS has developed the first true continuous-flow AMS system, opening the door to coupled gas chromatography–continuous-flow accelerator mass spectrometry and other related methods. There is also economy of scale—the per-sample cost of measurement, as measured in constant dollars, has declined over the years while measurement quality has improved. NOSAMS is funded on a renewable 5-year cooperative agreement, receiving about half of its support directly from NSF and garnering the remaining operational expenses from client fees. The fee structure is two-tiered, with U.S. federally funded researchers paying a subsidized price (about 50 percent of full cost). The advantage of this approach is that it provides some fiscal stability for the facility while encouraging a healthy level of market-driven dynamics. The facility is governed by an external advisory board that meets and reports on an annual basis to NSF, and there is also a midterm (2.5-year) review that is carried out by an NSF-appointed panel. The cooperative agreement is awarded via a peer-reviewed proposal; the last award, in Spring 2008, was the fifth. NSF will re-compete the facility for the next cycle and will likely issue the request for proposals in late 2011. Photograph of Bob Schneider loading samples into the tandetron accelerator ca 1997. SOURCE: Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Figure 6-1 R01905 Ocean Research bitmapped/raster color
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62 CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE FOR OCEAN RESEARCH AND SOCIETAL NEEDS IN 2030 societal needs of 2030 and beyond. These partnerships will for further discussion]). There are also barriers put in place work at a maximum level when the goals, responsibilities, by the legislative branch of government and the nature of resources, and data sharing and limits are agreed upon at the appropriations process. However, as evidenced by the the onset. For the ocean research enterprise, these types of National Oceanographic Partnership Program, interagency collaborations are inherently interdisciplinary and multidis- collaboration is indeed both feasible and fruitful. Science ciplinary. However, the overall success rates and effective- objectives, whether research-related or society-relevant, ness of all collaborations need to be substantially improved. provide the focal point for collaboration, and both program managers and working level scientists need to be involved from the outset. An advocate for the “sum of the parts” is Between Nations a useful mechanism to foster improved success (ORRAP, Working between nations presents the greatest chal- 2007). The ocean-related federal agencies also choose to lenges, but it also has the greatest potential gains. The global fund their extramural research in different modes, involv- ocean is simply too large and has too many complex chal- ing varying criteria and peer-review roles. While these dif- lenges for individual nations to manage. In order to make ferences can lead to challenges for agency collaborations, progress in the realm of international ocean infrastructure, research funding, and strategic choices for infrastructure explicit agreements on data sharing, permissions and secu- assets, sponsor diversity has also generally been a means to rity, resource allocation, and networking of system collec- foster competition and creativity. tions will be needed. Individual nations cannot sustain all innovative, continuous, frequent, or large-scale (e.g., global) Between Federal, State, and Local Governments sampling programs of interest. Instead, international col- laborations, even among a few key contributors at a time, At the federal, state, and local levels, impediments are essential to produce data that can be used in the study to collaboration often stem from differences in missions, of large-scale or globally ranging processes, such as climate cultures, and available resources, as well as perceptions of change or geohazards. Such collaborations are required to overlapping jurisdiction. These differences will be greater maintain networks of global satellite infrastructure for physi- than for federal agencies and therefore require more adapta- cal properties such as temperature, wind, or ocean color, tion by participants to overcome the disparities. Successful for example. Intergovernmental bodies (such as the United collaboration can be built upon identification of mutual Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization benefit between levels of government. For example, NOAA’s Cooperative Institutes6 promote collaboration and involve- Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, which co- sponsors the Voluntary Observing Ship program with the ment between federal agencies and universities. The commit- World Meteorological Organization) and political entities tee endorses the general approach found in the NRC report (e.g., the European Union) could be leveraged as vehicles to Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change (NRC, 2010a), more efficiently utilize ocean infrastructure. which combines federal coordination with state-based ini- International collaboration also presents opportuni- tiatives. As individual states move forward with plans to ties for capacity building and strengthening international manage their ocean resources, strong collaboration between relationships with developing nations. Although agreements state governments, regional associations, and the federal do exist between the United States and other nations, funda- government are likely to lead to better outcomes at all levels. mental structural impediments prevent unified requests for proposals, joint proposal preparation, joint review, and joint Among Academic, Government, Nongovernmental, and funding of collaborative international projects. Too often the Industry Sectors final review and funding become parallel processes, yielding multiple points of failure. These barriers need to be identified In expectation of increasing commercial ocean ventures and lowered in order to have true international collaboration by 2030 and growing debates about proper regulation of in ocean science research. those activities, partnerships between sectors are likely to be needed to build and maintain infrastructure, particularly in the coastal ocean. However, differences in resources, skills, Across Federal Agencies organizational cultures, and ranges of desired outcomes Because each federal agency has a different mandated will also be much greater between these different sectors, mission, creating successful working relationships between and in fact there may often be little overlap. When working agencies can be difficult. Institutional barriers between fed- across these sectors, the focus will need to be on specific eral agencies, generally associated with varying missions outcomes and timelines, with clear and explicit agreements and cultures, can prevent essential collaborations needed for on resources and any limits on information sharing. Organi- planning operation and maintenance of critical, broad-scale, high-cost, ocean research infrastructure assets (including ships, observing systems, and satellites [see NRC, 2007b, 6 http://www.nrc.noaa.gov/ci/index.html.
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63 MAXIMIZING RESEARCH INVESTMENTS IN OCEAN SCIENCE zations like the Consortium for Ocean Leadership,7 whose The meteorology community has developed approaches members comprise oceanographic institutions, aquaria, and to address many of these issues, which could have direct commercial companies, can facilitate linkages between these applicability for ocean infrastructure (e.g., NRC, 2000b, sectors. 2003c). For example, the NOAA Climate Program Office’s Transition of Research Applications to Climate Services8 program was established to enable transition of mature Between Disciplines climate information techniques, applications, and tools The research community has inherent motivation to from research and development to sustained operations and r apidly adopt knowledge and tools that enhance indi- services, where these products can be used by decision mak- vidual scientific endeavors. Impediments to collaboration ers at a variety of levels. An analysis of lessons learned in across disciplines (whether ocean sciences or allied fields) meteorology with a view toward their applicability to ocean stem primarily from the magnitude of current science and research infrastructure would be of considerable value to technology developments, as well as variations in culture federal agencies and state and local governments. and terminology, all of which pose significant challenges. Successful transitions between research and operations Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary science programs will also require engaging the commercial sector. While it is have been moderately successful in overcoming these chal- challenging to stimulate commercial investment, particularly lenges by defining their research programs in terms of the with the constraint of limited market, broadening to industry problems to be addressed as well as the inherent scientific helps to ensure viability and competitiveness. Federal agen- issues. This approach is likely to continue to have advocates cies can play a role in this regard, particularly in effecting among the federal agencies, within industry, and increas- efficiencies and economies of scale. One way is to have ingly, in academia. industry-government collaborations in standardization and acquisition of potentially transitionable assets. Successful Substantial collaboration on many levels is needed to transition of technologies in various stages of maturation maximize the nation’s investment in ocean research infra- needs careful management of a number of dynamic balances structure: between nations; among federal agencies; at as well as skilled, broadly experienced people. local, state, and federal governments; between academic, industry, government, and nongovernmental sectors; and Ocean infrastructure that can successfully transition within and among ocean science and allied disciplines. from research to routine operational use is needed, espe- cially in areas that have broad societal applications. Or- ganizational mechanisms that enable scientific research ENABLING TRANSITION OF OCEAN user oversight of the capability through and after transi- INFRASTRUCTURE FROM RESEARCH TO BROADER tion to routine operations are needed, as well as resources SOCIETAL APPLICATION to ensure that data quality is known and remains of suf- ficient quality for research use. Many infrastructure capabilities developed by the sci- entific community for fundamental scientific research have broader applications. However, it is often challenging to ENSURING THE NEXT GENERATION OF OCEAN create infrastructure that simultaneously meets both research SCIENCE INFRASTRUCTURE and operational requirements. To address critical societal needs, it is expected that many ocean infrastructure assets The technological foundations underpinning ocean will continue to evolve from a research context operated infrastructure continue to evolve rapidly, enabling both by principal investigators or research agencies to routine, incremental changes and revolutionary new capabilities. sustained observing and monitoring resources operated by Development of future ocean research infrastructure will mission agencies, the private sector, or dedicated organiza- encourage exploration of new pathways to make success- tions (ORRAP, 2007). The sustained value of the investment, ful technologies broadly available to the research and as well as measure of its successful transition, is dependent operational communities. New capabilities are also often on continuing the data’s scientific utility for a variety of pur- accompanied by the creation of business opportunities that poses, from research to applications. Research and end user support economic growth. Best practices for encouraging involvement, not just during the transition from research but the next generation of ocean infrastructure include allocating also throughout the lifespan of the monitoring infrastructure, adequate resources for developing new innovations, which is a best practice that is also likely to optimize data quality ensures continual improvement of research infrastructure; at a level sufficient for scientific research (ORRAP, 2007). sustaining efforts into the long term (a decade or more), However, sustainable, reliable operations and data continuity which allows research teams to pursue promising technolo- are also dependent on adequate resources. gies for the full development-to-application cycle; and sup- 7 8 http://www.oceanleadership.org/. http://www.climate.noaa.gov/cpo_pa/nctp/.
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64 CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE FOR OCEAN RESEARCH AND SOCIETAL NEEDS IN 2030 Ensuring the next generation of ocean science research porting refinement and validation of prototype technologies, requires a competitive and innovative ocean research building user awareness, and promoting early opportunities enterprise. This includes sustaining long-term efforts, for commercial exploitation (e.g., through efforts like the encouraging high-risk activities, supporting technology Small Business Innovation Research Program, the Alliance maturation and validation, ensuring adequate resources, for Coastal Technologies, or the Environmental Protection incentivizing collaboration, and promoting education Agency’s Environmental Technology Verification program and training for future scientists and engineers. [also see Chapter 3]). Although it is impossible to predict which technologies and capabilities will attract capital in the global marketplace CONCLUDING REMARKS of 2030, it is likely that many ocean science infrastructure components will appeal to only small markets. In these The major science questions expected to be at the fore- cases, incentives could be provided to develop assets that front of ocean science in 2030 will encompass a broad range have potential to address societal needs (e.g., by reducing the of issues from fundamental inquiry to issues with great soci - cost of capital through government guarantees). In order to etal relevance. While it is likely that, due to unanticipated ad- ensure that optimal investments transition from research to vances in technology, some of the questions in this report will operation and commercialization, such considerations could be answered in the next two decades, others will continue to be part of the 5 to 10 year formal infrastructure review. be of importance for decades beyond 2030. The categories I n addition, encouraging “high-risk/high-reward” of infrastructure, framework for investment prioritization, activities makes certain that novel approaches remain part and ways to maximize research investments outlined in this of the technology portfolio, as does funding alternative, com- report provide guidance that will enable the federal agencies petitive development approaches as a means to mitigate risk and their partners (local and state governments, academia, while maximizing opportunity. Another method is to incen- ocean industries) to make wise choices when planning for tivize collaboration, which encourages communication and the future ocean infrastructure investments. Addressing the lowers barriers between oceanography and allied disciplines most significant oceanographic research and societal issues (e.g., medicine, engineering, computer science). A final but in 2030 will require a comprehensive range of infrastructure. essential step is educating and training the next generation As ocean science continues to evolve toward more interdis- of engineers, technologists, and scientific users to create new ciplinary and multidisciplinary research, a growing suite of capabilities in research infrastructure and continue the use infrastructure is needed. of data generated.